Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 07.06.2023

Review for Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary on Nintendo Switch

Q.U.B.E. came out at a time when Portal's success changed the way smaller game developers approached first-person game design. Not everything set in the first-person point of view had to be a shooter or a narrative-driven puzzle game. As it turns out, gamers enjoy the simplicity of a pure puzzle experience from a first-person perspective. It has been a decade since; there has been a director's cut, a sequel, and now a 10th anniversary redux. What can Q.U.B.E. fans expect from this revision?

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary is a room-based first-person puzzle game. The player-character wears a strange and sleek suit that lets them manipulate coloured blocks and can negotiate very specific solutions in order to progress. Some blocks can be magnetized, there are panels that rotate entire sections of a room, and there are blocks that launch or shoot the user or even a "key-ball".

Like the original iteration, Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary is still a very short game that is packed with density. Each room or puzzle is unique and solving them is engrossing. They are never too complicated, but have enough challenge to make people stop in their tracks for a minute or two to ponder and become more aware of their surroundings.

Screenshot for Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary on Nintendo Switch

A lot of the puzzles in Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary are the mostly the same. Veterans of the original game will take note that some of the layouts of chambers are remixed or are completely new. Overall, most of the changes are for the best. The power cables and dark rooms are thankfully cut and are replaced with extensions to existing puzzles.

The original game had a brisk pace to its flow and it is still the same as ever in Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary. Gamers will move through puzzles swiftly and steadily, trying to get every collectible all the way through, with little friction in the way.

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary is best described as a mixture of elements of the original game and Q.U.B.E. 2. What is taken from the sequel is mostly just the visual style. In the original Q.U.B.E., each "test chamber" or "puzzle room"'s geometry was made up of uniform blocks. Every piece was smooth, perfectly inserted and flushed.

Screenshot for Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary on Nintendo Switch

The main event of Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary is Sector 8. This post-game content is the core concept of Q.U.B.E. taken to its fullest potential and offers the most challenging set of puzzles in the game. Not only will spatial awareness be put to the test, but also timing and reflexes. Sector 8's courses are much more intense than what most players would expect from a first-person puzzle game. Usually, the first several minutes revolve around trying to make sense of the goal and what to do.

Sector 8 offers a lot of content. It is roughly the same length as the main game, but will run much longer for anybody who struggles with puzzles or likes to take their time. These challenges involve many steps and can result in tedious retries because failure usually means having to restart, and sometimes gamers might actually be hitting a wall and not even realise it. Sector 8 is not for the feint of heart or the impatient; it offers the most taxing and confounding challenge that Q.U.B.E.'s core gameplay can possibly be.

Screenshot for Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary on Nintendo Switch

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary gives all the environments a palpable sense of verisimilitude. Every element has grit and some texture to it. There is a sense that the world feels lived in and less sterile. Each block is not perfectly aligned and it creates a sense of imperfection in the greater structure. This style certainly is very different from what the original artists where aiming for. Some fans may lament that it is so different now, but it is hard ignore that the new visuals are less tiring on the eyes.

On Nintendo Switch, Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary misses out on some of the visual flourishes that are on the more advanced platforms. Raytracing is one of the touted features in this new version, and while the specs of the Nintendo Switch obviously will never be able to render these effects, it is hard to fault the game for its tried and true visual identity.

Screenshot for Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary goes for a stark and minimalistic style. This is still present in the more detailed and gritty look of this re-release and the new details elevate the ambiance. There isn't much that could have been done to what could laughingly be referred to as the "story". The plot is exactly the same as it was, recycling the exact voice over narration of two characters. Interestingly, Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary offers a mode that edits out all story development involving characters and background music that drives the narrative. This mode borders on being pointless, but playing the game in this manner does change the atmosphere and adds a stronger sense of mystery due to the lack of explanation of everything.

Developer

Toxic

Publisher

Toxic

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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